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The Murder of Journalism And How We Are Aiding It

I tried very hard to not post this, but I simply could not get over the fact that my Facebook feed is basically filled with pictures from Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover’s wedding, and of the Hritik Roshan and Kangana Ranawat’s love feud. 

I do not quite resonate Aaron Sorkin’s feelings when he in his series ‘The Newsroom’ showed the stigma or rather disgrace associated with tabloid journalism. From the little knowledge which I have managed to gather from my four years of media education, journalism purists have always demarcated between what is ‘pure journalism’ and what is not. So when the protagonist of Sorkin’s show, Will McAvoy reminds Neena Howard who real journalists are, I kind of understand the school of thought he was referring to. And I guess I do party believe in it. 

For those of who are still clueless, Sorkin called ‘gossip mongers’ a disgrace to journalism and through his show he asked a section of tabloid journalists not to call themselves journalists.

Back to the point now. As I said, I don’t really resonate Sorkin’s feelings. But the fact that these gossip driven tabloid journalism is killing my first love and drugging us with chinwag driven media industry, is slightly bothering me. Journalism is being murdered and we all are a part of it. 

India today is home to a large number of news websites and the web industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. Though I don’t have the data to prove it, but largely to my calculation, most of these sites are fueled by entertainment and tabloid content. With the growing internet spectrum, things have become far easier to get viral and this sustains the bread and butter of probably thousands of media personals, especially freshers. 

So the next time you curse your boyfriend/girlfriend on the streets and someone captures you on the camera. Don’t feel bad to be a part contributor to someone’s pay check at the end of the month. 

But you know what’s the worst part here? I don’t even know who to blame? This other day I posted two stories, the first one was based on Virat Kohli’s Instagram post, where he is dancing and the second one discussed five all time India-Pakistan hockey encounters.

I am sure it’s not difficult to guess which story did well. And we live in a market driven economy. We, as audience are contributing to the consumption pattern which places ‘gossip’ or glamour over everything else. 

What further hurt is the fact that today web journalism is largely Facebook driven. It’s as simple as this, no one opens my blog directly. I have to share my link on the social media and that’s where I get referrals. So whatever content is being created has to be optimized for Facebook consumption and that’s where you get your traffic. 

So if I have 15 posts telling me what Bipasha Basu wore in her wedding and two posts narrating miseries due to the Assam floods. Do the calculation as to what are the chances of me opening the second category of posts. 

We are basically conditioned to read certain kind and type of stories and this has led to the shaping up of an industry which I believe will damage the sanity of journalism which Sorkin showed in his show ‘The Newsroom’. 

For many, this would just be an amateur media enthusiast ranting about what ‘on field’ journalism is and would advise me to understand the industry more to sustain. But I am genuinely worried about the fact that journalism is being killed, click by click, and we all are contributing to it.
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  • Sunday, May 01, 2016
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